Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lightened up Loco Moco

Hawaii can be a paradise for many and their local food is as diverse as their people.  The local plate lunch actually stemmed from many field workers sharing their lunches and therefore their heritage with one another and the plate lunch was born.  Much of this food isn't exactly figure friendly but that doesn't mean it can't be remade into something that you can easily fit into your calories and still enjoy that great taste of the islands.  Behold the loco moco...

"What the hell is that!?" you might ask.  Well if you're in Hawaii and you order a loco moco, you're likely going to get a buttload (an actual term of measurement) of rice, 2 big ass hamburger patties totaling about 12-16 oz depending on where you go, 2 eggs and enough gravy to kayak on.  As the locals sometimes say, you eat until you're tired, not full.  In adding up those ingredients, a loco moco in the islands or anywhere you can get them easily runs 1,400 calories.  MY version above is 507 calories and doesn't require defib paddles.

Here's what you'll need:
(Serves 2)

1/2 cup Trader Joe's Brown Basmati Rice
2 85/15 ground beef patties
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 cup Heinz Fat Free Beef Gravy
Scallions to garnish

Prepare rice by adding 1/2 cup of rice to 2 1/2 cups of water.  Cook until fluffy.  While the rice is cooking, season two 4 oz 85/15 ground beef patties with garlic powder and black pepper and put in the skillet or grill until done to your liking.  (I wouldn't use less than 85/15 unless you want dry burgers)

While burgers are cooking, cut up your scallions and measure out 1/2 cup of gravy in a glass dish since assembly will need to happen quickly.  When the burgers are done, cover them to keep them warm, same with the rice.

In a small bowl crack one egg and one egg white so it makes a super egg.   Put in a skillet with a bit of cooking spray and cook low and slow to your liking.  We do them over easy so it's not runny but the yolk busts when you eat it and mixes in which gives a great richness to the dish.  We highly recommend sunny side up or over easy.

Then its time to assemble!  Warm up gravy for 30-45 seconds in the microwave as you assemble the other ingredients.

You should have about 5 oz of cooked rice when you half it, put that on your plate.  Then place your burger patty on the rice.  Like so...

Then top with the super egg.

Top with 1/4 cup of the fat free gravy per serving.

Finally garnish with scallions and get ready to chow down baby.

THIS is one of the best Hawaiian comfort food dishes in the islands and if you're smart about substitutions you can still enjoy the foods you love even if it's a big ol' plate of beef, rice, egg and gravy.  I can bribe the Mr to do anything if I promise to make this dish.

"Zipline on that electrical wire and see what happens"
"Only if there's a plate of loco moco at the end!"

It's that good and wrinkling your nose up without ever tasting it would mean you're missing out on a piece of culinary genius that is the island equivalent of homemade mac and cheese or meat and potatoes or your favorite comfort food.

Popular variations in the island include using spam for the meat (use Spam Lite or Turkey Spam) or Portuguese sausage.  You can also add grilled onions.  Obviously these would all change the nutritional info but experiment with the basic recipe to come up with your favorite!

Nutritional Information per serving:  Calories 507  Total Fat 22g  Sat Fat 9g  Poly Fat 1g  Mono Fat 2g  Cholesterol 255mg  Sodium 480mg  Potassium 124mg  Total Carbs 39g  Fiber 1g  Protein 36g  Vitamin A 6%  Calcium 2%  Iron 20%

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  1. I don't like brown gravy (weirdo, I know) but this looks like it could be great with either green chile or white gravy.

  2. That looks phenomenal! I was just talking to a co-worker about Hawaii. He goes twice a year. My hubby and I are talking about going for our 22nd anniversary in December.

  3. YUM! Sounds and looks delish. Hope you are having a blast!

  4. I know my guys would LOVE this. I'm not really a huge fan of eggs, the yolks kinda turns me off, but I might even try this--it looks that good. My guys will go to Red Robin (not my favorite place), just for their burger with the egg on top, that's why I know they would love this. Thanks for sharing a recipe I'm going to have to try! I wonder if I could make mine with just egg white?

  5. Yum-o! I'm totally going to try this one. Hmmm, wonder how I can add something spicy!

  6. Omg, I love loco moco. I've made it at home before but it wasn't a healthy version. I'm totally making this recipe ASAP! If I can't be in Hawaii at least I can feel like I am with a big dish of loco moco!

  7. Should not be reading this while hungry...droooooolllll!!! Looks delicious!


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